Lt. Col. Rick Omang and 1st Lt. Gregory Ames, both of the 177th Airlift Squadron, pilot a C-21 aircraft as they launch from Hector International Airport, Fargo, N.D., in 2009. This was the first time the North Dakota Air National Guard C-21s deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp, 119th Wing)
The Learjet (now Bombardier Aerospace) C-21A twin turbofan-engine aircraft was the military version of the Learjet 35A business jet. It provided airlift for eight passengers and 3,153 pounds of cargo. During aeromedical evacuations, it could transport one litter patient or five ambulatory patients. The small size of the aircraft allowed quick and cost effective travel. The turbofan engines are pod-mounted on the sides of the rear fuselage, and the wings have wingtip fuel tanks.
Delivery of the C-21 fleet to the U.S. Air Force began in April 1984 and was completed in October 1985. The C-21A on display (S/N 84-0064) was one of the first three of more than 80 aircraft delivered. It deployed to Southwest Asia in support of OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. During OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, C-21s delivered the Air Tasking Orders (ATOs) to units lacking the ability to receive these daily orders electronically. Last assigned operationally to the North Dakota Air National Guard (119th Wing, 177th Airlift Squadron), it was flight delivered to the museum in August 2013.
Crew: Two (pilot and co-pilot); aeromedical evacuation adds a medical crew of three (one flight nurse and two medical technicians) Engines: Two Garrett TFE-731-2-2B turbofan engines of 3,500 lbs. thrust each Maximum speed: 530 mph (Mach 0.81) at 41,000 ft. Range: 2,306 miles Ceiling: 45,000 ft. Wingspan: 39 ft., 6 in. Length: 48 ft., 7 in.